Sweet and Sour Flora
Flora texts me to find out what we're having for dinner:
Obviously you can't tell from the context, but I'm pretty sure she was talking about Chinese food.
So to accomodate her simple request I looked out a
Sweet and Sour Pork
dish, only with chicken.
Since I'd already bought a chicken for something else.
I figure that being orange it will bring lots of colour
if I serve it hot it will definitely provide the warm
and being a main course it should also be pretty savoury
(exactly what main courses aren't
savoury then Flora?).
I'll leave Flora to provide the sweet
which just leaves the healthy
for which I pull out a sharp, aromatic
Crab and Sweetcorn Soup
from Ken Hom to start.
It must be healthy - it's a soup right?
As usual when feeding Flora - time is of the essence,
fortunately the soup is pretty quick to prepare, especially if you buy the crab prepared (as I did) or tinned.
Crab and Sweetcorn Soup
The white pepper is a critical ingredient, but be careful not to overdo it.
You can substitute ground black pepper if you must.
This doesn't have the lemony flavour nor the toothiness of chicken and sweetcorn soup,
but has its own definite sharp and sour character.
- 1 lb corn on the cob, or 10 oz canned or frozen corn
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 5 cups good quality ready-made chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch, blended with 2 teaspoons water
- 8 oz fresh or frozen crabmeat
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions, to garnish
If you are using fresh corn,
peel and wash the cobs, then remove the kernels with a sharp knife or cleaver.
You should end up with about 1½ cups corn.
Mix the egg white and sesame oil together in a small bowl or measuring cup and set aside.
Bring the stock to a boil in a large pot and add the corn.
Simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered,
then add the rice wine or sherry, light soy sauce, ginger, salt, pepper, sugar, and dribble in the cornstarch mixture.
Bring back to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.
Add the crabmeat.
Immediately afterwards, slowly pour in the egg white mixture in a steady stream, stirring slowly all the time.
Transfer the soup to a tureen or individual bowls and garnish with the scallions.
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